A Travellerspoint blog

March 2017

OESTRICH-WINKEL, RHINE RIVER, BRAUBACH GEMANY

2011 Big 6 Week Trip

FAVOURITE PHOTO -

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AHHH..... MAUSETRUM - THE CUTE MOUSE CASTLE! HAVE YOU EVER SEEN
A CASTLE MORE CUTE?!! :)

I WAS PLANNING OUR BIG EUROPE HOLIDAY WITH THE IDEA OF DRIVING
ALONG THE RHINE RIVER FOR PART OF THE WAY. I DIDN'T REALISE HOW
MANY CASTLES THERE WERE ALONG THE RIVER UNTIL I STARTED DOING
SOME INTENSIVE RESEARCH USING GOOGLE MAPS AND VT. THAT WAS
WHEN I DISCOVERED MAUSETURM OR THE MOUSE CASTLE AND JUST
KNEW INSTANTLY THAT I HAD TO SEE IT!

THE MOST OBVIOUS PLACE TO VIEW THS CUTE CASTLE IS IN BINGEN ON THE
LEFT HAND SIDE OF THE RIVER LOOKING UPSTREAM.... BUT THERE ISN'T
MUCH ELSE TO DO IN BINGEN SO I STARTED TO LOOK ELSEWHERE. THEN I
FOUND MICHAEL'S (globetrott) OESTRICH-WINKEL PAGE ON VIRTUALTOURIST
AND THE REST FELL INTO PLACE :)

MORE ABOUT THAT LATER.

OESTRICH-WINKEL

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OUR FIRST SIGHTING OF THE LOVELY RHINE RIVER :)

WHEN WE ARRIVED IN OESTRICH-WINKEL I RECOGNISED THE OLD CRANE
FROM PICTURES I HAD SEEN. THESE CRANES WERE USED TO HELP IN THE
TRANSPORT OF SUCH GOODS AS WINE BARRELS, SAND, GRAVEL, COAL AND
GRAIN. HERE WE WENT FOR A SHORT WALK ALONG THE RIVER BANK.

GRUNER BAUM RESTAURANT AND PUB

BEER TIME! WHILST TRIP PLANNING I HAD DISCOVERED THIS QUAINT
PLACE TO EAT AND ENJOY A COLDIE (BEER).

THE GRUNER BAUM WAS TUCKED AWAY IN A BACK STREET. I LIKED THE
QUIET SHADY DINING AREA THAT WAS ENCLOSED BY LOTS OF GREENERY.

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MOUSE CASTLE IS LOCATED JUST PAST OESTRICH-WINKLE ON THE OPPOSITE
SIDE OF THE RIVER. YOU NEED TO KEEP A LOOK OUT BECAUSE IT QUICKLY
APPEARS AND THERE IS NOT MUCH ROOM TO PULL OFF THE ROAD FOR A
QUICK PHOTO SHOOT. LUCKY FOR US, I SPIED IT IN TIME AND THE TRAFFIC
WASN'T TOO BUSY WHICH ALLOWED US TO PULL OFF THE ROAD QUICKLY.

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THE MOUSE CASTLE IS SITUATED ON AN ISLAND IN THE MIDDLE OF THE
RHINE RIVER NEAR BINGEN, I WAS FASCINATED TO HEAR THE STORY
BEHIND THE NAME.

APARENTLY THIS FELLA CALLED HATTO TOOK OVER THE ARCHBISHIP SEAT
IN MAINZ IN 968 AND REIGNED BINGEN. HE USED TO STAY IN THIS CASTLE
THINKING HE WAS SAFE. ONE DAY HE BECAME ILL AND APARENTLY WAS
OVERCOME BY THOUSANDS OF MICE AND DIED.

SHIVERS!! WE ONCE LIVED IN A PLACE CALLED EDITHBURGH SOUTH
AUSTRALIA. BEING IN THE WHEAT BELT.... THERE WERE MICE EVERYWHERE.
OUR RENTAL HOUSE WAS INFESTED! YOU MIGHT LIKE MICE..... BUT THEY
GIVE ME SHIVERS!!! EWWWE!! LOL.

RHINE RIVER AND CASTLES

WE WERE HEADED TOWARDS BRAUBACH AND A HOTEL RECOMMENDED
BY MY FRIEND GLOBETROTT (Michael) ON VIRTUALTOURIST.

DRIVING ALONG THE RHINE RIVER WAS A PLEASURE AND GREAT MEMORY.
CASTLES EVERWHERE WE LOOKED!! WE WERE GOBSMACKED!
THANK GOODNESS THERE WERE NO FLIES AROUND. HAHA :)

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THIS ONE IS CALLED PFALZGAFENSTIEN CASTLE (PHEW..... THAT'S A BIG
WORD! LOL). I LATER FOUND OUT THAT IT WAS USED TO COLLECT
RIVER TOLLS. APARENTLY A CHAIN WAS PLACED ACROSS THE RIVER AND
FORCED SHIPS TO SUBMIT. TRADERS THAT DIDN'T WERE PLACED IN THE
DUNGEON UNTIL A RANSOM WAS DELIVERED.

AN INGENIOUS WAY TO MAKE MONEY. GOVERNMENTS TODAY ARN'T SO
SMART..... ;)

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I SPIED THIS MASSIVE VINYARD WITH AN ELABOURITE MANNOR HOUSE.......
BUT WE COULD NOT STOP... :(
NEVER MIND..... I HAD PARIS TO LOOK FORWARD TO ..... MMMMM.

I SPOTTED A CAMPING AREA RIGHT ON THE RIVER. SO NICE TO SEE THAT
THE LOCALS CAN HANG OUT HERE IN HOLIDAY SEASON WITH THEIR FAMILIES!
THAT IS NICE :)

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BRAUBACH

WHEN PLANNING OUR CAR TRIP THROUGH EUROPE I CHOSE
BRAUBACH TO STAY OVERNIGHT BECAUSE OF THIS MAJESTIC
CASTLE ON THE HILL AND CUTE LITTLE TRAM TO TAKE YOU THERE.
THANKS AGAIN MICHAEL FOR YOUR SUGGESTIONS!!

MARKSBURGH CASTLE

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THIS CASTLE SO FAR WAS BY FAR THE MOST MAJESTIC ONE WE'D SEEN
ON OUR TRIP! THE OTHER CASTLES IN THEIR OWN RIGHT HAD
INTERESTING FEATURES LIKE THE ONE IN MESPELBRUNN WHERE WE
HAD JUST COME FROM AND THE CUTE LITTLE MOUSE CASTLE NEAR
OESTRICH-WINKLE.

YOU COULD NOT MISS THIS CASTLE, PURCHED ON TO OF THE HILL
SIDE. WE ARRIVED LATE IN THE AFTERNOON SO COULD NOT TAKE THE
CUTE TRAIN UP TO CHECK OUT THE CASTLE THAT WAS DISAPPOINTING.
PLUS WE HAD A LONG DAY OF DRIVING IN THE MORNING...... SO ALL
WE COULD DO WAS ADMIRE MARKSBURG CASTLE FROM DOWN TOWN.

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AND ACROSS THE ROAD WAS THE LOVELY RHINE RIVER.

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FUNNY AUSSIROSE STORY

HEY!..... WANNA HEAR A FUNNY AUSSIROSE STORY?!....

HEY!..... STOP GROANING AND LISTEN!!.....

GUESS WHAT?.... THE HOTEL WAS FULL!!.... EVEN THOUGH WE BOOKED
AHEAD. SO THEY SHOVED US IN THE BARN ACROSS THE ROAD.....
TRUE!!!

THE OUT HOUSE ACROSS THE ROAD...... THE WHITE BUILDING OVER THERE,
WAS TO BE OUR ACCOMMODATION FOR THE NIGHT.

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POOR BIRGIT'S BED WAS NO BIGGER THAN A BABY COT!.... SO HOWIE
TOOK THE LOUNGE TO SLEEP ON AND BIRGIT AND I SHARED THE
QUEEN SIZEED BED LOL.

OH WELL..... WITHOUT SOMETHING LIKE THIS HAPPENING..... I WOULD NOT
HAVE A STORY TO TELL NOW WOULD I ;)

ALL WAS NOT LOST HOWEVER..... WE HAD PRETTY GOOD VIEWS OF
MARKSBURG CASTLE FROM THE OUTBACK SHED.... HAHA.

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AND IN THE MORNING THE MIST GAVE THE CASTLE A SPOOKY LOOK.

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THE HOTEL WAS QUITE INTERESTING. THERE WERE 2 BUILDINGS
(3 IF YOU INDLUDE THE SHED ACROSS THE ROAD LOL).
2ND BUILDING WAS WHERE BREAKFAST WAS PREPARED AND I MUST SAY
IN THE HOTEL'S DEFENCE.... THAT BREAKKY WAS REALLY GOOD!
I HAD MY FIRST AUTHENTIC GERMAN BREAKFEST HERE COMPLETE WITH
ALL SORTS OF BREAD, CHEESE AND MEAT. I WAS IN HEAVEN !!!! :)

HOTEL LANDGASTHOF ZUM WIESSEN
http://www.zum-weissen-schwanen.de/home

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THE STREET WAS REALLY NARROW HERE.
I RECKON THAT CAR COULD ALMOST FIT THROUGH THERE...
WHAT DO YOU THINK? ....

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WE HAD A GOOD LAUGH AT THIS SIGN HAHA.....
PFFT!! TANKS GET TO DRIVE AT 100'K'S IN BRAUBACH!! :)

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NEXT DESTINATION LIER VIA TONGEREN.

Posted by aussirose 01:26 Comments (3)

TONGEREN, LIER, GENT BELGIUM

Big 6 Week Trip


View 2011 Europe & Morocco on aussirose's travel map.

FAVOURITE PHOTO.

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TONGEREN

WE HADN'T PLANNED TO VISIT TONGEREN ON OUR ROAD TRIP THROUGH EUROPE.
WE WERE HEADED TO LIER FOR A SPECIAL VIRTUALTOURIST MEET AND WE HAD
ARRANGED TO PICK UP KSHEZZ (Kirsty) FROM HER HOME IN TONGEREN.

MY FIRST IMPRESSION OF TONGEREN WAS A SMALL TOWN THAT I IMMEDIATELY
FELT COMFORTABLE IN. THE PEOPLE HERE ARE WARM AND FRIENDLY AND THE
COUNTRYSIDE IS LOVELY.

FIRST TIME IN A NEW COUNTRY, YOU HAVE TO TRY A LOCAL BEER. THIS ONE
GRIMBERBEN WENT DOWN REAL WELL. A NICE INTRODUCTION TO BELGIUM
BEERS! :)

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OK, NOW WE'VE HAD A NICE COLDIE.... LET'S START WITH AN AUSSIROSE STORY.
STOP GROANING!!! ;)

WE WERE ON OUR WAY TO PICK UP KIRSTY FROM HER HOME IN TONGEREN
AND WE WERE DRIVING THROUGH SOME NICE COUNTRYSIDE AND INTO A
SMALL VILLAGE, THROUGH THE STREETS AND THEN HEADING OUT OF TOWN.

HEY... WAIT A MINUTE!!!!!!!
WE ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO BE HEADING OUT OF TOWN????!
WE CAME TO A SCREECHING HAULT!! .... DUST SURROUNDED THE CAR.

IS THERE SOMETHING WRONG WITH THE TOM TOM?... !! WE AGAIN PUNCHED
IN KIRSTY'S ADDRESS AND HEADED BACK INTO THE SMALL VILLAGE TO WHICH
WE HAD JUST COME FROM..... TONGEREN.

STORY TO BE CONTINUED...... LATER.

THE GREAT MEMORY A LOT OF US HAD WITH VIRTUALTOURIST (Closed in Feb 2017)
WAS OUR FABULOUS VT MEETS. I HOPE THAT TRADITION WILL CONTINUE ON TP.
SO HERE WE ARE AT KIRSTY'S PLACE IN TONGEREN EXCHANGING HUGS :)
IT'S LIKE MEETING UP WITH AN OLD FRIEND AND SHARING NEW EXPERIENCES.
AWESOME!!
IT WAS A REAL PLEASURE MEETING YOU KIRSTY! xx NEVER A DULL MOMENT!
YOU ARE A LIVELY FUN LOVING PERSON AND SO EASY TO GET ALONG WITH :)

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WE ALL ENJOYED A WALK AROUND TOWN WITH THE BASILICA OF OUR LADY AND
LEARNING ABOUR THE STORY BEHIND THE AMAZING STATUE AMBIORIX IN THE
CENTRE SQUARE.

KIRSTY ALSO HAD SOME PRESENTS FOR US. MY FIRST TASTE OF BELGIUM
CHOCOLATES!! AND A KEY RING FOR HOWIE OF THE FAMOUS AMBIORIX.

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LIER

OUR FIRST CANAL EXPERIENCE! WE HAD A LOT OF FIRSTS THIS TRIP :)
WE HAD ALREADY EXPERIENCED, CLOCKS, TUDOR HOUSES, COBBLESTONE STREETS,
CASTLES AND A GRAND PALACE. NOW THE CANALS!! HOW BEAUTIFUL!!

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WHEN PLANNING OUR BIG TRIP THROUGH EUROPE I HAD GOOGLE MAPS UP
AND GOOGLE IMAGES AND OF COURST VT AS MY TRUSTY SOURCE OF INFO.
WE WERE DRIVING FROM BRAUBACH TO BRUGGE - TOO LONG TO DO IN 1 DAY.
I DISCOVERED LIER.

LIER HAS 3 BIG THINGS GOING FOR IT - AN INTERESTING CLOCK, SOME OLD
BUILDINGS IN A PLACE CALLED THE BEGUINAGE AND CANALS!!
LIER IS CALLED "LITTLE BRUGGES" :)

THE CLOCK WAS AMAZING!! I HAVE A THING FOR CLOCKS ;)
MY PRIDE AND JOY AT HOME IS MY GRANDFATHER CLOCK.
THIS UNIQUE CLOCK IN LIER WAS A MASTERPIECE!!
CALLED THE ZIMMER TOWER, IT WAS ACTUALLY PART OF THE OLD TOWN WALLS
AND THEN MADE INTO A CLOCK IN 1930 BY A VERY INGENIOUS FELLA CALLED
LOUISE ZIMMER.

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VT MASCOT AUSSIEBARNEY JUST LOVED LIER! BET YOU CAN GUESS WHY! LOL.
WHAT THE HECK HAVE SHEEP AND LIER GOT IN COMMON?.. I'LL EXPLAIN LATER....

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FIRST THINGS FIRST. THIS WAS A SPECIAL VT MEET. IT WAS MY 51st BIRTHDAY.
I WAS GOING TO SPEND MY BIRTHDAY IN A LITTLE VILLAGE IN EUROPE THAT I
KNEW NOTHING ABOUT..... WELL EXCEPT FOR THE LOVELY CANALS AND CLOCK.

TURNS OUT THAT I COUD NOT HAVE PICKED A BETTER PLACE!! AND THAT WAS
BECAUSE OF SOME FANTASTIC VT MEMBERS!! WHO MADE THIS A DAY TO
REMEMBER AND THE WEALTH OF INFORMATION THEY HAD TO SHARE WITH ME!

THANKS TO KSHEZZ (Kirsty), IRISBE (Dannie) AND EDDYMARIO (Eddy).
YOU GUYS ROCK!!! xxx

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Eddie, his lovely wife, good friend Birgit who was travelling with us,
aussirose, Kirsty and Dannie.

EXCHANGED HUGS ALL ROUND AND A COUPLE OF DRINKS AS US VT'ERS ARE
ACCUSTOMED TO.... AND WE WENT FOR A WANDER AROUND TOWN.

I HAD READ ALL ABOUT THE BEGUINAGE AND WAS EXCITED TO SEE IT.
A BEGUINAGE IS LIKE A CONVENT. IN THE OLD TIMES THERE WAS A SURPLUS
OF WOMEN AS A RESULT OF WAR WHICH TOOK THE LIVES OF MANY MEN.
THESE WOMEN FORMED COMMUNITIES WHERE THEY BECAME RELIGIOUS AND
TOOK ON THE LIVES OF NUNS. YOU COULD SAY THAT A BEGUINAGE IS
COMPARED TO A MONESTERY EXCEPT THE BEGUINES DID NOT MAKE VOWS
LIKE NUNS DO. THIS WAS TURNING OUT TO BE A MOST ENJOYABLE DAY!! :)

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BEER O'CLOCK AND PARTY TIME!! :)

EDDY AND DANNIE CHOSE A FABULOUS RESTAURANT FOR OUR PARTY!!
WE HAD A LOVELY VIEW OVER NICE GREENERY AND THE FAMOUS SHEEP STATUES.
THANK YOU FOR ORGANISING GUYS!!! YOU ARE AMAZING FRIENDS! xx
WE HAD AN AWESOME PARTY!!!

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STREETS OF LIER

EARLY NEXT MORNING WE TOOK A WANDER AROUND THE STREETS. IT'S A NICE
THING TO DO WHEN THE AIR IS COOL AND THERE'S NO ONE AROUND :)

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OPPOSITE THE RESTAURANT WE HAD PARTIED THE NIGHT BEFORE WAS A LOVELY
PAINTING PORTRAYING THE LIFE OF THE WOMEN IN THE OLD BEGUINAGE.
I AM BY FAR A HISTORY JUNKIE.... BUT I WAS ACTUALLY QUITE LIKING WHAT
I WAS LEARNING. LIER HAS A VERY INTERESTING HISTORY....

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OK.... NOW FOR A SHEEPISH STORY :)

DID YOU KNOW THAT THE INHABITANTS OF LIER ARE NICNAMED
"SHEEP'S HEADS"? THIS IS THE STORY BEHIND THE SHEEP STATUES THAT
YOU FIND AROUND TOWN.

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WAY BACK IN THE OLDEN TIMES THEY WERE ASKED WHAT THEY WISHED FOR -
A CATTLE MARKET OR A UNI?

YEP..... YOU GUESSED IT :) ................. AND LEUVEN, A PLACE DOWN THE ROAD
GOT THE UNIVERSITY.

THIS STORY DIDN'T MATTER TO AUSSIBARNEY. HE WAS JUST HAPPY TO MEET
SOME OF HIS FELLOW MATES. HE PICKED THE BLACK SHEEP TO SIT ON FOR A
RIDE ;) NO HIDDEN SECRET THERE...... LOL.

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SO WHILST AUSSIEBARNEY WAS BEING LED ASTRAY BY THE BLACK SHEEP.....
I GOT A LITTLE DISTRACTED MYSELF..... ;)

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WHOAA??.... HELL YEH!!!
THE CHIPPENDALES WERE IN TOWN!!!..... HOW COULD I HAVE MISSED THEM??!!!
HEY DANNIE !!!!!! GEE!!! :(

DESPITE MISSING THE CHIPPENDALES OUR VISIT TO LIER WILL DEFINITELY BE
ANOTHER GREAT TRAVEL MEMORY!! MADE ALL THE BETTER BY FANTASTIC
FRIENDS!! THANKS GUYS!! :)

PURE HOTEL LIER

WE STAYED AT THE PURE BED AND BREAKFAST. THIS PLACE IS THE MOST
CLINICAL HOTEL I HAVE EVER STAYED IN. EVERYTHING WAS NEW AND 'WHITE'
WITH LOTS OF CHROME FITTINGS. THERE WAS NO ATMOSPHERE HERE.
IT WAS AS CLEAN AS A HOSPITAL WITHOUT THE SMELL :)
MIGHT HAVE HAD SOMETHING TO DO WITH CATERING MAILY FOR THOSE
THAT COME OUT OF THE SLEEZY DISCO IN FRONT OF THE HOTEL LOL.
BREAKFAST WAS GOOD THOUGH. DON'T THINK I'D STAY HERE AGAIN.

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GENT

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WELL WHAT AN AMAZING SURPRISE!! WE WERE NOT SURE WHAT TO EXPECT.
I HAD DONE NO RESEARCH AT ALL ON GENT. WE MADE A QUICK STOP IN GENT ON
THE WAY TO BRUGGES PURELY TO MEET A VERY OLD FRIEND OF MINE ON VT ERWIN.

ERWIN (Joeplaboam) HAD KINDLY OFFERED TO SHOW US AROUND HIS HOMETOWN
AND WHO WOULDN'T ACCEPT AN INVITATION LIKE THAT FROM A FRIEND I HAD KNOWN
FOR 13 YEARS ON VT :)

WE MET ERWIN AT A CAR PARK JUST OFF THE HIGHWAY AT THE HOLIDAY IN EXPRESS.
THAT'S A STORY IN ITSELF..... IN A MINUTE ----

WELL AS I SAID, GENT WAS A TOTAL SURPRISE AND HAS HEAPS TO OFFER!
MY FRIEND ERWIN WAS A FANTASTIC HOST AND MADE OUR SHORT STOP IN
GENT A TOTAL PLEASURE AND FANTASTIC MEMORY :)

THE HIGHLIGHT FOR ME IN GENT WAS OUR FIRST EUROPE CANAL EXPERIENCE.
IT WAS ALSO MY BEST CANAL TOUR OF OUR WHOLE EUROPE TRIP!!!
THIS WAS NOT ONLY DUE TO ERWIN'S COMPANY BUT ALSO BECAUSE OUR TOUR
GUIDE WAS SO ENTERTAINING AND FUNNY.

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GENT IS A POPULAR PACE FOR WEDDINGS. WE SAW 4 IN THE SHORT SPACE OF TIME
THAT WE WERE HERE. AND NO WONDER! THE BACKDROP WITH GORGEOUS OLD
BUILDINGS AND COBBLESTONE STREETS. WOW! WHO WOULDN'T WANT TO GET
MARRIED HERE!! :)

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OUT AND ABOUT WANDERING AROUND GENT WITH IT'S AMAZING BUILDINGS, ARCHITECTURE,
GREAT CATHEDERAL AND EVEN A CASTLE!! - GRAVENSTEEN! STUNNING!!

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AND THEN..... JUST WHEN WE THOUGHT IT COULDN'T GET ANY BETTER..... ERWIN TOOK US TO
THE AMAZING WERREGARENSTRAAT - GRAFFITI STREET!!!!

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OK.... BACK TO THE FUNNY AUSSIROSE STORY....
DONT!!! *** aussirose making stop hand signal ***
KEEP YOUR THOUGHTS TO YOURSELF!!!

WAS OUR TRUSTY GPS PLAYING TRICKS ON US?....
TOM TOM HAD HELPED US NAVIGATE BUSTLING CITIES, WINDY ROADS,
SMALL COBBLEDSTONE STREETS WITHIN OLD FORTRESS WALLS AND
WIDE OPEN COUNTRYSIDE. WE COULD NOT HAVE DONE THIS TRIP WITHOUT IT.
..... WELL EXCEPT FOR A COUPLE OF HICKUPS.

WE HAD TRAVELLED THROUGH THE GORGEOUS BELGIUM COUNTRYSIDE THE
PREVIOUS DAY TO PICK UP KIRSTY FROM TONGEREN AND TAKE HER WITH US
TO LIER FOR MY BIRTHDAY BASH. TOM TOM TOOK US RIGHT PAST KIRSTY'S
HOUSE AND OUT OF TOWN. WE THOUGHT AT THE TIME THAT IT WAS STRANGE.
BUT DIDN'T THINK ANYTHING MORE BECAUSE WE WERE EXCITED TO SEE KIRSTY.

SO HERE WE ARE DRIVING FROM LIER TO BRUGGES VIA GENT TO SEE ERWIN.
WELL GUESS WHAT?.... WE TOOK THE EXIT OFF THE HIGHWAY TO GENT....
THEN DID A LOOP AND RE-ENTERED THE HIGHWAY TOWARDS BRUGGES.

HUH??? WTF??!!!..............

THEN IT CLICKED!!! TOM TOM DIDN'T KNOW THAT WE ACTUALLY WANTED TO
STOP IN GENT!! STUPID GPS!!! LOL ;)

BY PUTTING IN 'VIA' - GPS WAS DOING JUST THAT..... TAKING US VIA.
HAHA.

BEER TIME!

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ERWIN TOOK US TO THIS PUB CALLED DULLO GRIET BAR WHEN THEY SERVE
OVER 250 BEERS!! HOOLEYDOOLEY !!!! :) CHEERS!!

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WESTMALLE WAS OUR FAVOURITE.

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DE KONICK - A NICE FULL BODIED BEER WITH A GOOD WHEATY TASTE.

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PECHERESSE, A BEER MADE OUT OF 30% PEACH JUICE. DIFFERENT... BUT STILL VERY TASTY.

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AS YOU CAN SEE HERE.... I AM TOTALLY HAPPY AFTER A COUPLE OF HOURS
SPENT IN GENT WITH OUR WONDERFUL HOST ERWIN :) :) :)

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SHOWING US AROUND MATE. GENT WAS AMAZING!
AND YOU ARE THE BEST!! xx
I WOULD LOVE TO COME BACK AND EXPLORE SOME MORE.

NEXT STOP THE STUNNING AND ROMATIC BRUGGES.

Posted by aussirose 15:08 Archived in Belgium Tagged travellerspoint trip europe belgium gent lier 2011 aussirose tongeren Comments (4)

BRUGGES - NIGHT PHOTOGRAPHER DREAM

Big 6 Week Trip


View 2011 Europe & Morocco on aussirose's travel map.

FAVOURITE PHOTO

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HOW ROMANTIC!!

THIS IS STILL A FAVOURITE PHOTO! AND IT WAS TAKEN WITH MY POINT AND SHOOT
CAMERA AND I STITCHED TOGETHER IN PHOTOSHOP.

BRUGGES WAS ONE OF THE 1ST ON MY LIST OF PLACES TO SEE IN EUROPE.
I FELL IN LOVE WITH BRUGGES WHILST VISITING IAN'S (iandsmith) PAGES ON
VT. I SAW HIS NIGHT SHOTS AND IMMEDIATELY KNEW I WANTED TO VISIT!
THANKS MATE! :)

WE HAD ALREADY EXPERIENCED OUR FIRST EUROPE CANALS IN LIER AND GENT.
BUT THE CANALS HERE IN BRUGGES AT NIGHT WERE SOMETHING ELSE!! :)

AUSSIROSE MEETS BIG KWAK!
BIGGER THAN ANY CROC I HAVE COME ACROSS YET!

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I WAS GOBSMACKED!!! HAVE YOU EVER SEEN A BEER SO BIG!!
NOW THIS IS WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT!! ;)

BUT HOW IS AUSSIROSE GOING TO POLISH THIS OFF WITHOUT SPILLING IT
ALL OVER HER FACE AND EMBARRASING HERSELF IN PUBLIC?....!

WELL I DELICATELY LIFTED THE YARD GLASS OUT OF IT'S HOLDER AND
SIPPED IT. THERE WAS NO WAY I WAS GOING TO SPILL THIS THING ALL OVER
MYSELF!!...... LOL.

I DID THIS TECHNIQUE A FEW TIMES.... PRETENDING I KNEW WHAT I WAS
DOING.... ;) NO LIFTING THE LITTLE PINKIE.... I AM A PROFESSIONAL!!........

WELL THERE WERE SOME STRANGE LOOKS AT NEIGHBOURING TABLES
AND I THOUGHT..... WHAT'S THE PROBLEM?.... I'M DOING REAL GOOD HERE.
I HAVE NOT GOT A FACE FULL YET! THINK MY TECHNIQUE IS WORKING!!

WELL IT TURNS OUT THAT I WAS NOT DOING THIS IN STYLE AT ALL!
I WAS MAKING A TOTAL FOOL OF MYSELF AT EVERYONE'S EXPENSE LOL.

BUT THAT'S ALRIGHT BECAUSE AUSSIROSE IS USED TO BEING A DUMB
BLONDE QUEENSLANDER LOL. :)

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THIS IS WHAT I SHOULD HAVE BEEN DOING.... LIFTING UP THE WHOLE
WOODEN FRAME AND YARD GLASS AT THE SAME TIME. THIS NICE WAITER
TOOK PITTY ON ME AND CAME OVER TO HELP LOL ;)

WELL AFTER I MASTERED IT.... FOLLOWED BY A FEW LAUGHS ALL ROUND
INCLUDING ME, I POLISHED OFF MY BEER TO A ROUND OF APPLAUSE!! :)
AND JUST HAD TO GET A PHOTO OF MY KWAK BEER DRINKING TEACHER!!

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WELL BY THIS TIME I NEEDED A DISTRACTION FROM MY FALIURE.....
AND I GOT IT!!!! LOL :)

WHAT SORT OF HEAD IS THAT HOWIE?!! ....... CHUCKLE..... SNIGGER SNIGGER ;)
WHERE'S THE BEER?....!! NOW DRINK THAT!! LOL.

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HUBBY PRIDES HIMSELF ON POURING A GOOD BEER. BUT I THINK THESE
BELGIUM BEERS HAVE CERTAINLY GIVEN BOTH OF US A GOOD CHALLENGE!

OK SAYS HUBBY..... ENOUGH OF THE SILLY STUFF, LET'S CHECK OUT THE MENU.
WELL THAT JUST CREATED MORE LAUGHTER ON MY SIDE!! HAWHAWW!
NOW WHO IS THE LOOSER!!! PFFT!! I LOST IT TOTALLY!!! HAHAAAA...

THE STAFF COULDN'T HAVE BEEN MORE HELPFUL AND WE HAD A NICE TIME
ENJOYING OUR SURROUNDINGS AND PEOPLE WATCHING.

BRUGGES IS SUCH A ROMANTIC PLACE. I LOVED THE CANALS AND NIGHT LIGHTS.

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BRUGGES IS SO MUCH MORE!! IT HAD HORSE & BUGGIES TOO!
WHAT A LOVELY WAY TO SEE THE SIGHTS AND EQUALLY ROMANTIC!
WE DIDN'T DO THIS AS THE LINE UP WAS TOO LONG. WE DID HOWEVER
RIDE HORSE AND BUGGE ELSEWHERE ON OUR TRIP BUT THAT'S ANOTHER STORY.

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WE TOOK A FEW MINUTES TO SIT AND ENJOY THE DUCKS AND SWANS ON THE
CANAL FRONT. THIS WAS A NICE QUIET PART OF THE CITY WITH LOTS OF
TREES AND SHADE.

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OK.... FUNNY AUSSIROSE STORY.

AND YOU THOUGHT THAT MY BEER DRINKING TECHNIQUE WAS FUNNY!! ;)

THIS IS THE MAIN SQUARE IN BRUGGES. HUBBY AND I STAYED IN A
BEAUTIFUL BED AND BREAKFAST ABOUT 20MIN CASUAL STROLL FROM
THIS CENTRE SQUARE. MORE ABOUT THE B&B IN A MINUTE....

ON OUR FIRST DAY WE DECIDED TO HIRE THE B&B BIKES TO TAKE THE
FAST TRIP INTO TOWN. NO PROBLEM! AUSSIROSE WAS AN ACCOMPLISHED
BIKE RIDER ..... YEARS AGO........ ;)

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THESE DANISH BIKES HOWEVER WERE BIG! MINE WAS A BIT TOO BIG!!
OF COURSE I HAD NO PROBLEM MOUNTING IT!.... ;)
RIDING.... NO PROBLEM.... LOL.

BUT GETTING OFF..... WAS JUST A SLIGHT PROBLEM.... HAHA.

NOTHINNG LIKE A CRASH LANDING IN THE CENTRE SQUARE OF BRUGGES!
IN FRONT OF THE HORSE AND BUGGIES AND CROWDS LOL ;)

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OUT COMES THE VIOLINS.......
NO, JUST THOUGTH I'D THROW THAT IN FOR EFFECT ..... HEHEE.

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SPEAKING OF MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS.... THIS FELLA WAS IN THE NEXT STREET.
I REALLY ENJOYED HIS VIOLIN AND TRUMPET PLAYING.
HE WAS A REAL TALENTED GUY.

SO AFTER MY IMPRESSIVE TOUCHDOWN INTO THE CENTRE SQUARE ......
HUBBY AND I TOOK A WANDER AROUND THE STREETS, TAKING IN THE
LIVELY ATMOSPHERE AND TOURIST ATTRACTIONS. BRUGGES IS A VERY BUSY
TOURISTY PLACE.

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BRUGGES CANALS

GOING ON A CANAL TOUR IN BRUGGE WAS ON MY 'MUST DO LIST!! :o)
WE HAD ALREADY EXPERIENCED A SURPRISE CANAL CRUISE IN GENT.
SO I HAD SOMETHING TO COMPARE THIS WITH. ALTHOUGH BOTH HAD
SIMILAR NICE SIGHTS.... GENT WINS! YOU'LL HAVE TO CHECK OUT MY
GENT BLOG TO FIND OUT WHY ;)

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VT MEET

LOVELY SARAH (crazypaws) WHO ORGANISED OUR MEET UP.
THANKS A MILLION SARAH FOR A FANTASTIC JOB!! WE ALL
ENJOYED OURSELVES IMMENSLEY! xx

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ATTENDEES WERE BELL (titabell), DANNIE (irisbe), CAROLINE (B_Caro)
AND IAN-GRACE (kylian74).
OH AND AUSSIEBARNEY (WHO STOLE THE SHOW) AND THOSE
NAUGHTY VA'S (THE PLASTIC PEOPLE FROM AROUND THE WORLD
THAT WOULD HAVE LOVED TO HAVE ATTENDED IN PERSON...
NEXT BEST THING.... VIRTUAL ATTENDEE... OR VA AS WE
AFFECTIONALLY CALLED THEM,)

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BELL - YOU HAD BEEN MY FRIEND FOR A LONG TIME ON VT AND
IT WAS A HIGHLIGHT TO FINALLY MEET YOU!! WHAT A WARM
RECEPTION YOU GAVE HOWIE AND I. AND YOUR EYES LIT UP
WHEN YOU SAW OUR VA'S HANSI, LORI, DORRISE AND REXY xx.

DANNIE - YOU CAME TO MY BIRTHDAY BASH IN LIER! WHAT AN
AMAZING TIME WE HAD!! AND THANK YOU AGAIN FOR ALSO
COMING TO BRUGGES!! xx

CAROLINE - YOU HAD A WARM AND BUBBLY PERSONALITY!
WHO WOULDN'T HAVE BEEN DRAWN TO YOU! WE HAD A
FABULOUS TIME :)

IAN-GRACE - YOU CAME ALONG WITH YOUR HUBBY AND LITTLE
BABY GIRL WHO WAS SO CUTE!!..... YOU CAME FROM 3 HOURS
AWAY! I AM SO PRIVILEGED TO HAVE MET YOU AND YOUR LITTLE
FAMILY! DON'T STOP SMILING AND ENJOYING LIFE TO THE FULL!!
xx

AGAIN.... SARAH.... LOOKING FORWARD TO SHOWING YOU AROUND
PERTH WHEN YOU VISIT US SHORTLY IN JULY 2017!! HUGS xx

BRUGGES ACCOMMODATION - ELEVEN BED AND BREAKFAST

I WOULD RECOMMEND TO STAY HERE. OUR HOSTS WERE
ATTENTATIVE BUT ALSO GAVE US OUR SPACE. PARKING WAS
NOT TOO FAR AWAY. WE HAD THE USE OF THE BIKES TO RIDE INTO
TOWN.... ABOUT 7 MINUTES AWAY. GREAT LOCATION.
BREAKFAST WAS NICE!

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BRUGGES EXCELLED EVERYTHING I HAD IMAGINED!

NEXT STOP - AMSTERDAM AND A STAY ON A HOUSEBOAT,
FUN AT THE HEINEKEN EXPERIENCE, WINDMILLS...
BOATS, BIKES AND BOOZE -
PLUS MEETING PJ, SWANET, DILA AND MARY.

Posted by aussirose 02:01 Archived in Belgium Tagged trip europe belgium brugges 2011 aussirose travellerspoiint Comments (4)

AMSTERDAM - BOATS, BIKES AND BOOZE

Big 6 Week Trip


View 2011 Europe & Morocco on aussirose's travel map.

FAVOURITE PHOTO.

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NOT ONE OF THE BETTER PHOTOS I TOOK IN AMSTERDAM, HOWEVER
THIS PHOTO BRINGS BACK HAPPY MEMORIES OF OUR HOUSEBOAT.

YES, WE STAYED ON A HOUSEBOAT! IT WAS AWESOME!
HOUSEBOAT B042

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aussirose and Houseboat owner Frank

aussirose and Houseboat owner Frank

WHEN PLANNING OUR HOLIDAY, AMSTERDAM WAS ONE OF THE FIRST
ON MY LIST. NOT BECAUSE OF THE BOATS, BIKES AND BOOZE... BUT
BECAUSE OF MY GOOD VIRTUALTOURIST FRIEND PJ (Pieter Jan) AND HIS
LOVELY WIFE SWANET. MEETING UP WITH PJ AND SWANET WAS THE
HIGHLIGHT OF AMSTERDAM :)

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WE ALSO HAD THE PLEASURE OF MEETING ANOTHER AMSTERDAM
RESIDENT, DIANNA (Dila) WHO KINDLY SHOWED US AROUND ON A
NICE WALKING TOUR OF AMSTERDAM AND ALSO JOINED IN ON OUR
DAILY ACTIVITIES.

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OUR TIME IN AMSTERDAM WAS ACCOMPANIED BY RAIN WHICH COULD HAVE
PUT A DAMPER ON THE WHOLE EXPERIENCE, BUT IT DIDN'T MATTER MUCH.
WE HAD A FUN TIME ANYWAY :)

OUR WHOLE EUROPE TRIP INCORPORATED SO MANY NEW AND DIFFERENT
EXPERIENCES, CULTURES AND SIGHTS.... IN FACT THERE WAS A WOW FACTOR
AROUND EVERY CORNER! AMSTERDAM WAS NO DIFFERENT.

MY HIGHLIGHT HERE WAS THE CANALS. YES, WE DID THE RED LIGHT DISTRICT,
WINDMILLS AND THE FUN HEINEKEN EXPERIENCE, BUT THE CANALS FOR ME
WAS THE HIGHLIGHT.

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 HEINEKEN EXPERIENCE

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HUBBY WORE HIS FBI T-SHORT ESPECIALLY FOR THE OCCASION -
FAMOUS BEER INSPECTOR :)

WE HAD BEEN TASING BEERS ALL THROUGH GERMANY AND BELGIUM.
NOW CAME THE TIME FOR THE FBI TO PUT HEINEKEN, AMSTERDAM TO
THE TEST!!!

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SO FAR SO GOOD... THE FBI IS IMPRESSED.
PJ GIVES HIS NOD OF APPROVAL.....
THE FBI IS STILL WORKING ON IT. ;)

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NOW FOR THE FIRST TEST..........
THE FBI SMELLS THE INGREDIENTS.
YOU NEED TO HAVE GOOD BARLEY, HOPS AND YEAST.
NOT BAD...... SAYS THE FBI.

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NOW FOR THE ALL IMPORTANT TASTE TEST.
CHECK OUT THE BUBBLES, CLARITY...... AND TASTE!
DOES IT PASS?....

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FINAL INSPECTION COMPLETED! BEER PASSED THE TEST!!

MEANWHILE BIRGIT AND SWANET WERE DOING A BIT OF THEIR
OWN SMELLING AND TASTING ;)

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THE HEINEKEN EXPERIENCE MAY BE A BIT TACKY BUT THE FBI AND I
AGREE THAT IT IS WELL WORTH A VISIT.

YOU GET TO EXPERIENCE THE FEELING OF ACTUALLY BEING A BEER
BEING MADE AND BOTTLED BY MEANS OF A SIMULATED ACTIVITY.
THEY HAVE OTHER FUN STUFF TO DO INCLUDING KAREOKE :)

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AND AT THE END THERE IS A BEER POURING COMPETITION.

WE WERE ALL GIVEN 2 BUTTONS FOR FREE BEERS. YOU COULD USE
THE 2 BUTTONS TO POUR YOUR OWN BEER.

THE FBI COULDN'T RESIST THE CHALLENGE :)
HUBBY STEPPED UP AND POURED HIS BEER LIKE A TRUE FBI PRO!
UNLIKE HIS FEEBLE ATTEMPT IN BRUGGES...... lol.

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AND RECEIVED A HEINEKEN EXPERIENCE BEER PULLING CERTIFICATE!

THE CROWD CLAPPED AND CHEERED!!

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AND HUBBY PROCEEDED TO SCAB A FEW MORE BUTTONS FROM THOSE
WHO CHEERFULLY GAVE THEM AWAY TO THE FAMOUS FBI.... :)

ZAANSE SCHANS

A TRIP TO AMSTERDAM IS INCOMPLETE WITHOUT VISITING THE LOVELY
WINDMILLS. LOCATED IN THE VILLAGE OF ZAANSE SCHANS WHICH IS
JUST A SHORT TRAIN RIDE FROM CENTRAL STATION. THE LINK ABOVE
SHOWS HOW TO GET HERE.

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WE HAD EXPERIENCED LOTS OF FIRST'S ON OUR EUROPE TRIP -
CHIMING CLOCKS, COBBLEDSTONE STREETS, CASTLES, A BIG
PALACE, CANALS, HORSE & BUGGY.... AND NOW FOR THE WINDMILLS.

I LOVED OUR DAY OUT HERE. THE LITTLE VILLAGE IS JUST GORGEOUS!!

I BELIEVE THAT THERE ARE 25 HISTORIC HOUSES IN WHICH AROUND 40
PEOPLE STILL LIVE WITH 2 WORKING WINDMILLS STILL SELLING THEIR
PRODUCTS TO NEARBY FACTORIES.

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HERE IN ZAANSE SCHANS I HAD THE BEST APPLE PIE EVER!! YUUUM!!
DE HOOP OP D'SWARTE WALVIS RESTAURANT

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A WANDER AROUND AMSTERDAM WITH AUSSIROSE

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Begijnhof

Begijnhof

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Anne Frank Statue

Anne Frank Statue

Van Gogh Museum

Van Gogh Museum

Brouwerij 't IJ Brewery

Brouwerij 't IJ Brewery

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XXXX Beer at Brouwerij 't IJ Amsterdam

XXXX Beer at Brouwerij 't IJ Amsterdam

We caught tram No. 5 and Dianna was Driving !!!

We caught tram No. 5 and Dianna was Driving !!!

BIKES OF AMSTERDAM

BEWARE.... BIKE RIDERS HERE HAVE PRIORITY... WELL AT LEAST THAT
IS THE EXPERIENCE I HAD. DO NOT LINGER ON A BIKE PATH!!! ;)

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AMSTERDAM AT NIGHT

IT'S NO SECRET THAT I LOVE NIGHT LIGHTS AND NIGHT PHOTOGRAPHY!
I EVEN TOOK A LOVELY SHORT VIDEO OF THE NIGHT LIGHTS
REFLECTING ON THE CANAL NEAR OUR HOUSEBOAT WHICH I WILL
ATTEMPT TO UPLOAD HERE LATER.

AMSTERDAM AT NIGHT WAS STUNNING!! AS YOU CAN SEE BELOW :)

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VT MEET PIX

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oxymoron

oxymoron

AND MARY CAME ALL THE WAY FROM SCOTLAND TO OUR VT MEET!!
THAT IS AWESOME!! HAD A WONDERFUL TIME WITH YOU MARY! xx
IT IS SUCH A PITTY THAT YOU GOT SICK AND COULDN'T ATTEND ANY
OF OUR DAY TRIPS.... :(

THANK YOU SO MUCH PJ AND SWANET FOR HOSTING US IN AMSTERDAM!!
YOU WILL ALWAYS BE GOOD FRIENDS!!! XXX

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NEXT DESTINATION PARIS FOR THE BIG VT MEET!!
AND A SPECIAL SURPRISE FROM HUBBY... KEPT SECRET BY MY VT FRIENDS :)

Posted by aussirose 19:24 Archived in Netherlands Tagged travellerspoint canals amsterdam windmills houseboat trip europe experience heineken 2011 zaanse schans aussirose b042 Comments (2)

PARIS - CITY OF LOVE

2011 Big 6 Week Trip


View 2011 Europe & Morocco on aussirose's travel map.

AHH PARIS!! CITY OF LOVE!!

PARIS HAS BEEN MY DREAM DESTINATION SINCE VERY LITTLE.
AND FINALLY! HERE I AM!!! :)

FAVOURITE PHOTO.

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PARIS IS KNOWN AS THE CITY OF LIGHTS, HOWEVER AFTER HAVING
EXPERIENCED PARIS FIRST HAND ALL I CAN SAY IS WOW! J'ADORE PARIS!
I'M IN LOVE WITH PARIS!! :)

LIGHTS.... YEH SURE! ..... THE TOWER LOOKS ABSOLUTELY AMAZING AT
NIGHT AND EVERYTHING ELSE FOR THAT MATTER WHEN YOU ARE IN
LOVE :)

OF COURSE IT ALSO HELPS WHEN ONE IS PRESENTED WITH A GORGEOUS
ETERNITY RING OF DIAMONDS AND RUBIES ;0

MORE ABOUT THAT LATER....

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I NOW NOT ONLY ADORE PARIS BUT ALSO MY LOVELY HUBBY TO WHOM
I'VE BEEN MARRIED FOR 32 YEARS.

SO HERE I AM IN LOVE WITH PARIS AND IN LOVE WITH HUBBY :)

IT'S AMAZING WHAT ONE SEES WHEN ONE IS IN LOVE.

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IS THIS A BORING SCENE TO YOU? WELL NOT TO ME.
LOVE THE COLOUR! LOVE THE FACT THAT THERE ARE JUST 2 BIKES.
ARE THE BIKES OUT OF PLACE? NO WAY! THEY LOOK LIKE THEY
BELONG THERE. THAT SPOT IS MADE JUST FOR THEM.
I THINK THAT THIS PICTURE CAPTURES THE ESSENCE OF PARIS!

OK ENOUGH OF THAT ROMANTIC DRIBBLE .... ;)

PARIS ARCHITECTURE

ONE THING I FOUND WHEN VISITING EUROPE WAS THAT AROUND
EVERY CORNER THERE IS SOMETHING AMAZING TO SEE!
THE ARCHITETURE HERE IN PARIS IS PHONOMINAL!
FROM THE AWESOME EIFFEL TOWER TO THE GRAND NOTRE DAME
TO THE STUNNING LOUVRE.... TO THE SIMPLE DESIGN OF A ROW OF
ARCHES THAT IS ASTHETICALLY PLEASING TO THE EYE.

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THE STATUES WERE SO LIFELIKE AND I WAS AMAZED AT THE
INTRICATE DETAIL. IN FACT AT VERSAILLES I FOUND THE MANY
LIFELIKE STATUES WERE MORE INTERESTING THAN THE GARDENS.
ART WORK WAS PRETTY GOOD TOO.

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GARDENS OF VERSAILLES

HUBBY IS A HORTICULTURIST. HE STUDDIED GARDENS ON HIS
COURSE. SO IT WAS A NO BRAINER THAT HUBBY WANTED TO VISIT
THE MOST FAMOUS GARDENS IN PARIS - VERSAILLES.

ALTHOUGH I FOUND THE GARDENS NICE. I PREFERRED MONET
GARDENS.

I DID HOWEVER ENJOY THE WONDERFUL STATUES AND FOUNTAINS :)

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MONET GARDENS

THIS WAS MY FAVOURITE! COTTAGE GARDENS WITH AN ARRAY OF
GORGEOUS COLOURFUL FLOWERS ARE SO NICE :)

I GUESS THAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HUBBY AND I.
HE LIKES MORE FORMAL GARDENS WHEREAS I LIKE THE MORE NATURAL
GARDENS WITH A MIXTURE OF THIS AND THAT :)

CLAUDE MONET MUST HAVE REALLY ENJOYED PAINTING IN THE
LOVELY SURROUNDINGS THAT HE CREATED HERE.

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aussirose and borneogrrl

aussirose and borneogrrl

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VA'swaalewiener and LoriPori

VA'swaalewiener and LoriPori

2 Barney VT mascots

2 Barney VT mascots

PHOTO TOUR WITH PARIS SET ME FREE

HUBBY, STEVEMT AND I DID A WALKING PHOTO TOUR WITH SAB -
PARIS SET ME FREE.

EVEN THOUGH I DID NOT HAVE A DSLR CAMERA, I LEARN'T A LOT.
IF YOU ARE INTO PHOTOGRAPHY, I WOULD RECOMMEND THIS WHEN
VISITING PARIS. SAB WAS A GREAT TEACHER!

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VT MEETS

BELOW ARE HAPPY MEMORIES OF OUR FANTASTIC VT MEET UPS HERE.
EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU WHO MET ME HERE KNOW THAT YOU
ARE ALL SPECIAL! WE HAD AN AMAZING TIME! LOVE YOU ALL!! xx

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Hubby and Pfsmalo

Hubby and Pfsmalo

Dear Birgit from Berlin who travelled with us

Dear Birgit from Berlin who travelled with us

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good friend Stevemt

good friend Stevemt

Gillybob picnicking with a couple of big boys

Gillybob picnicking with a couple of big boys

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STREETS OF PARIS

PAUL AND CATHY (Pfsmalo) KINDLY ARRANGED TO TAKE US ALL ON A
WALK AROUND PARIS. BELOW ARE SOME OF THE COOL THINGS THAT
WE SAW.

I Love VW Bugs!!

I Love VW Bugs!!

How did they park that? haha

How did they park that? haha

Bike with 2 front wheels??

Bike with 2 front wheels??

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CUJAS PANTHEON HOTEL LATIN QUARTER

I COULDN'T HAVE PICKED A BETTER HOTEL! RIGHT IN THE LATIN QUARTER
AND CLOSE TO EVERYTHING.

I TOTALLY RECOMMEND THE CUJAS PANTHEON HOTEL!
WE BOOKED THROUGH BOOKING.COM. LOCATION IS GREAT, STAFF
ATTENTATIVE AND THE DEAL FOR THE PRICE WAS CERTAINLY WELL
WORTH EVERY PENNY.... ESPECIALLY BECAUSE PARIS CAN BE VERY
EXPENSIVE.

BREAKFAST INCLUDED DOWNSTAIRS WAS NICE.
OUR ROOM WAS BIGGER THAN SOME OF THOSE I HAVE SEEN.
WE COULD LOOK OUT THE WINDOW ON NICE ARCHITECTURE OF
SURROUNDING BUILDINGS.
THE PUB THAT WE HAD OUR VT MEET AND GREET WAS JUST A FEW
STEPS DOWN THE ROAD ON THE CORNER.
TRANSPORT WAS CLOSE BY.
AND THE BEST THING WAS THAT OUR ROOM HAD A BATH!! :)

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EIFFEL TOWER

OK. CANNNOT DO A BLOG ABOUT OUR VISIT TO PARIS WITHOUT
A FEW PHOTOS OF THE FAMOUS TOWER.

ALTHOUGH HUBBY AND I LOVE OFF THE BEATEN PATH PLACES MORE
THAN VISITING TOURISTY ICONS..... YOU SIMPLY CANNOT VISIT PARIS
WITHOUT CHECKING OUT THE AMAZING EIFFEL TOWER! :)

OF COURSE WE DIDN'T BOTHER WITH LINING UP. WE WERE JUST HAPPY
TO VIEW IT FROM THE GROUND.

OUR FIRST VISIT WAS A PICNIC IN THE GARDENS WITH OUR VT FRIENDS.
THAT WAS LOVELY. I WOULD ENCOURAGE YOU TO DO THE SAME IF YOU
PLAN TO VISIT. THERE IS NOTHING BETTER THAN HAVING A PICNIC WITH
WINE, CHEESE AND BREADS IN THE GROUNDS OF THE EIFFEL TOWER!!! :)

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OUR SPECIAL MEET UP WHERE HUBBY PRESENTED ME WITH A GORGEOUS
ETERNITY RING OF DIAMONDS AND RUBIES

THE 3 DIAMONDS REPRESENT HUBBY, SON DYLAN AND SON JESSE.
THE 2 RUBIES REPRESENT DAUGHTER KELLI AND DAUGHTER JANINE.

AFTER 32 YEARS OF MARRIAGE, HUBBY IS STILL A ROMANTIC AT HEART :)
LOVE HIM!!

HUBBY ALONG WITH OUR GOOD FRIENDS STEVE AND BIRGIT KEPT A
SPECIAL SECRET FROM ME.

STEVE ARRANGED THE RESTAURANT WHERE WE HAD AN AMAZING DINNER.
BIRGIT ALONG WITH EVERYONE ELSE KNEW ABOUT IT AND KEPT THE
SECRET.

BIRGIT TRAVELLED WITH US ALL THE WAY FROM ZURICH, THROUGH
GERMANY, BELGIUM AND AMSTERDAM (check out my other blogs).
AND SHE KEPT THE SECRET.

WE HAD DINNER AT LA VARANGUE - PHILIPPE'S RESTAURANT
NOT FAR FROM THE EIFFEL TOWER. CHEF PHILIPPE WAS WONDERFUL!

NOT ONLY THAT, BUT MY VT FRIENDS THAT CAME WERE ALSO IN ON
THE SECRET..... ALL BUT ME! LOL.

WHEN HUBBY WAS MAKING HIS SPEACH ABOUT THE GREAT TIME THAT
WE HAD SO FAR IN PARIS WITH OUR SPECIAL FRIENDS, I WAS BUSY
FILMING. IT WASN'T UNTIL HUBBY TURNED TO ME AND PRESENTED
ME WITH THIS GORGEOUS ETERNITY RING.... THAT THE PENNY FELL!

OMG!! IN FRONT OF ALL OF OUR FRIENDS, HUBBY PRESENTED ME
WITH THE MOST STUNNING ETERNITY RING AND I WAS LOST FOR
WORDS. I CRIED!!

THANK YOU HOWARD! I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!! AND MY FRIENDS
WERE HERE TO SEE THIS? TOTALLY THE BEST NIGHT EVER!! :)

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Chef Philippe with vt shirt and flag

Chef Philippe with vt shirt and flag

aussirose and Chef Philippe

aussirose and Chef Philippe

AND WE ALL WALKED DOWN TO THE EIFFEL TOWER TO SEE IT LIT UP
AT NIGHT!

WHAT AN AMAZING END TO OUR PARIS ADVENTURE!!

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NEXT STOP - MARRAKECH MOROCCO AND AN AMAZING DESERT TOUR

Posted by aussirose 22:22 Archived in France Tagged gardens travellerspoint paris photo tour trip europe monet versailles 2011 aussirose parissetmefree Comments (3)

MARRAKECH - EXOTIC AND ENCHANTING

2011 Big 6 Week Trip


View 2011 Europe & Morocco & 2011 Morocco Sahara Desert Roadtrip on aussirose's travel map.

FAVOURITE PHOTO.

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WE HAD JUST BEEN FROM ZURICH, THROUGH GERMANY, BELGIUM, AMSTERDAM AND PARIS
AND NOW FOR SOMETHING DIFFERENT. WE HAVE EXPERIENCED DIFFERENT LIFESTYLES BEFORE
HAVING BEEN TO PARTS OF MALAYSIA AND VIETNAM.

NOTHING HOWEVER COMPARES TO MARRAKECH AND OUTBACK MOROCCO.
WHAT AN AMAZING EXOTIC AND ENCHANTING PLACE!
OUR 5 SENSES WERE HIT BIG TIME FROM THE VARIOUS DIVERSE SIGHTS
TO THE SMELLS OF TAGINE, MINT TEA AND OTHER MOROCCAN CULTURAL DISHES,
TO THE HAUNTING SOUNDS OF EVENING PRAYER, TO THE FANTASTIC LOCAL MUSIC
THAT OUR GUIDE PLAYED ON OUR DESERT TRIP (more about that later)......
AND THEN THERE WERE THE SOUKS WITH BUSY BATERING, HAWKERS, SNAKE CHARMERS
AND EVENING STREET FOOD MINGLED WITH MISTY RISING SMOKE ....
THAT IS JUST A TASTE OF OUR AMAZING ADVENTURE HERE IN MOROCCO.

SO PLEASE GRAB A SNACK AND A DRINK OR 3 AND FOLLOW ALONG WHILST I RELIVE OUR
MOROCCAN ADVENTURE. OH AND PLEASE, DON'T FORGET TO LEAVE A LITTLE COMMENT
TO LET ME KNOW THAT YOU HAVE VISITED. THAT WOULD BE APPRECIATED :)

~~~oOo~~~

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WE ARRIVED ON AIR MAROC FROM ORLY AIRPORT PARIS. WOW! SO DIFFERENT!!
IT WAS HOT AND DUSTY.... A VAST CHANGE FROM WHERE WE HAD JUST COME FROM.
WE WERE MET BY A DRIVER THAT WE BOOKED FROM THE ACCOMMODATION.

I FOUND ACCOMMODATION RIGHT IN THE HEART OF THE MEDINA IN MARRAKECH.
WE WERE MET FROM OUR CAR BY FOUAD FROM THE RIAD WHO KINDLY TOOK
OUR TRAVEL BAGS AND LED US THROUGH THE MAZE OF STREETS TO OUR NEW
HOME FOR THE NEXT FEW DAYS.

IT'S AMAZING THAT RIGHT NEAR THE HUSTLE AND BUSTLE OF THE SOUKS AND
MARKET SQUARE, THERE ARE QUIET BACK STREETS LIKE THIS.
IT WAS EQUALLY AMAZING HOW THE NOISE OF THE BUSY SOUKS JUST
MELTED INTO THE COOL AMBIENCE OF THE SURROUNDING ARCHITECTURE.

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RIAD DOLLAR DES SABLES

RIAD DOLLAR DES SABLES WAS A GREAT CHOICE.
THE STAFF THAT WE MET WERE ALL VERY FRIENDLY AND WELCOMING.
I COULD NOT HAVE PICKED A BETTER PLACE TO STAY :)

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THIS CUTE LITTLE RIAD HAD AN OUTDOOR AREA UPSTAIRS OVERLOOKING
THE MEDINA. THE DECORATIONS IN THE MAIN AREA DOWNSTAIRS WERE
COLOURFUL AND PLEASANT TO LOOK AT WHILST EATING BREAKFAST.
HAVING SAID THAT, THE DECOR IN OUR ROOM INCLUDING GOLD PLATED
TAPS AND ACCESSORIES IN OUR BATHROOM WAS PRETTY COOL TOO :)

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WE HAD OUR FIRST TAGINE EXPERIENCE HERE - A MOROCCAN DISH SLOW
COOKED IN CLAY WITH A LID. WE ALSO HAD THE LOCAL MINT TEA....
POURED BY HUBBY ;)

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FIRST NIGHT IN MOROCCO AT LA BOHEME RESTAURANT
OVERLOOKING DJAMMA EL FNA SQUARE

THIS WAS EXPENSIVE! EVEN BY AUSTRALIAN STANDARDS.
BUT I WOULD NOT HESITATE TO DO IT AGAIN! :)

CHECK THAT OUT!!

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AND THAT!!

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THERE IS NO BETTER WAY TO DINE ON YOUR FIRST NIGHT IN
AFRICA, OVERLOOKING THE MEDINA MARKET SQUARE -
DJAMAA EL FNA.

FOUAD FROM OUR RIAD SUGGESTED THAT WE DINE HERE.
OBVIOUSLY HE RECEIVED A CUT FROM THE RESTAURANT FOR TAKIING US.
WE HAD A FABULOUS TIIME!!!
WE ALSO ENJOYED OUR FIRST MOROCCAN BEER - CASABLANCA.
ALCOHOL IS NOT REDILLY AVAILABLE HERE SO THE ONLY PLACES YOU
CAN HAVE A DRINK ARE IN INTERNATIONAL HOTELS, EXPENSIVE
RESTAURANTS LIKE THIS ONE OR IN OBSCURE PLACES IN BACK
ALLEY WAYS BEHIND THE MEDINA.

THE SOUNDS OF EVENING PRAYER FOLLOWED BY NIGHT FALL AND A
FULL MOON RISING BEHIND THE MEDINA ARE ALL MEMORIES I WILL
NEVER FORGET!

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JARDIN MARJORELLE

HUBBY IS A HORTICULTURIST AND AS SUCH LOVES GARDENS.
DURING OUR TRIP WE SAW A NUMBER OF DIFFERENT GARDENS.
JARDIN MARJORELLE WAS UNIQUE FOR ITS COMBINATION OF RICH
COLOURS SURROUNDING IN AN AMONGST NATIVE DESERT PLANTS.

I JUST LOVED IT! :)

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WE ARRIVED HERE BY HORSE AND CARRIAGE, ANOTHER FIRST FOR US :)
IF YOU HAVE BEEN FOLLOWING OUR TRIP YOU WOULD KNOW THAT
WE HAD ALREADY EXPERIENCED GREAT CHIMING CLOCKS,
CUTE COBBLED STONE STREETS, BEAUTIFUL CANALS, STAYING ON A
HOUSEBOAT, WINDMILLS, MANY CASTLES AND A GRAND PALACE !

SO HERE WE ARE IN EXOTIC MOROCCO AND OF COURSE YOU NEED TO
TAKE A HORSE AND CARRIAGE TRIP :)

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IT WAS INTERESTING TO LEARN THE VARIOUS WORDS THAT WE HAVE
NOT COME ACROSS BEFORE.
SO I WILL TAKE A MINUTE TO DESCRIBE WHAT THEY ARE.

MEDINA
OLD HISTORIA PART OF TOWN TYPICALLY WALLED WITH NARROW
MAZE-LIKE STREETS.

RIAD
A TRADITIONAL HOUSE BUILT AROUND A CENTRAL COURTYARD.

SOUK
MARKET PLACE OR BAZAAR.

SO THAT IS WHY I PICKED OUR RIAD IN THE MEDINA AND AMONGST
THE MAZE OF NARROW BACK STREETS BEHIND THE SOUK :)

DJAMMA EL FNA

DJAMMA EL FNA, THE CENTRAL SQUARE OF MARRAKECH MEDINA
WAS INTERESTING TO SEE AT VARIOUS TIMES OF THE DAY.
AS YOU SAW ABOVE, AT NIGHT IT COMES ALIVE WITH ACTIVITY,
VENDERS, CAFES AND STREET FOOD.

HOWEVER, EARLY MORNING IT IS QUIET AND DESERTED.

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SLOWLY SHOP VENDERS WERE PREPARING FOR ANOTHER
BUSY DAY IN THE SOUK.

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THE HAWKERS START EARLY. BTW THEY ARE VERY PERSISTANT.
SOMETIMES EVEN OUR TACTIC OF A FIRM 'NO', LOOK STRAIGHT
AHEAD AND KEEP WALKING DID NOT WORK.

HOWARD GOT CAUGHT BY THE SNAKE CHARMERS WHO AFTER
SHOWING US THE SNAKE SHOW AND A SNAKEY KISS....
ASKED FOR MONEY ;)

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SPEAKING OF HAWKERS, WE FOUND THE BEST THING TO DO IN
THE SOUK WAS TO GET THE GIFT AND JEWELRY SHOPPING DONE
QUICKLY AS THIS WAS THE FIRST PLACE THAT WE HAVE EVER
EXPERIENCED PERSISTANT AND HARRASSING HAWKERS.
BRUSH UP ON THE EXCHANGE RATE BEFORE HAND SO THAT YOU DO
NOT GET RIPPED OFF. BE PREPARED TO BARTER HARD STARTING AT
BELOW HALF OF THE ORIGINAL PRICE OFFERED.

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HOP ON HOP OFF BUS

I ENJOY STREET SCENES AND PEOPLE WATCHING WHEREVER WE TRAVEL.
A GREAT WAY TO EXPERIENCE THIS IS TO DO THE HOP ON HOP OFF BUS.

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SADLY OUR TIME CAME TO AN END.
WE HAD TO SAY GOODBYE TO FOUAD WHO HAD LOOKED AFTER US
AND MADE OUR TIME IN RIAD DOLLAR DES SABLES COMFORTABLE
AND VERY SPECIAL.

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TODAY WE WERE HEADING OUT TO THE SAHARA DESERT FOR AN
ADVENTURE OF A LIFE TIME!

THE TRIP ENTAILED VISITING AMAZIING KASBAHS, VAST CHANGING
SCENERY, SLEEPING UNDER THE STARS AND RIDING OUT OF THE
DESERT ON CAMELS!
NOT TO MENTION HAVING LUNCH WITH OUR GUIDE'S FAMILY IN
THIER HOME, OFF ROAD 4X4 DRIVING, SAND DUNE BASHING,
AND HAVING MINT TEA WITH GENUINE NOMADS IN THEIR CAVE
IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE.

I LOOK FORWARD TO SHARING OUR AMAZING ADVENTURE WITH
YOU IN MY NEXT BLOG :)

Posted by aussirose 00:49 Archived in Morocco Tagged and horse el morocco marrakech carriage medina fna jardin souks 2011 aussirose djamaa marjorelle Comments (5)

ATLAS MOUNTAINS, TELOUET, AIT BEN HADDOU, OUARZAZATE

5 Day Sahara Desert Trip Morocco


View 2011 Europe & Morocco & 2011 Morocco Sahara Desert Roadtrip on aussirose's travel map.

MEET HABIB NAAMANI, OUR TOUR GUIDE AND OWNER OF SAHARA DREAMS MAROC.

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Collage of Habib

Collage of Habib

HABIB IS A BORN AND BRED BERBER NOMAD WHO GREW UP IN M'HAMID
ON THE EDGE OF THE SAHARA DESERT.

HE MAKES HIS LIVING BY DRIVING TOURISTS LIKE US THROUGH HIS COUNTRY.
HABIB ALSO EMPLOYS OTHER DRIVERS. WE MET ONE AT THE DESERT CAMP THAT
WAS DRIVING SOME PEOPLE FROM FRANCE.

IT WAS AN HONOUR AND PRIVILEDGE TO HAVE HABIB SHOW US AROUND.

THIS TRIP WAS AN ADVENTURE OF A LIFE TIME. WE ENJOYED IT SO MUCH THAT
WE WOULD LOVE TO DO IT ALL AGAIN.

BELOW IS THE START OF OUR AMAZING ADVENTURE THAT WOULD TAKE US
FROM MARRAKECH, THROUGH THE MOUNTAINS, INTO LUSH VALLEYS,
TRAVERSING TIGHT WINDY ROADS THROUGH GORGES, CROSS COUNTRY
IN THE 4X4, MEETING BERBER NOMADS IN THEIR CAVE, SLEEPING OUT
UNDER THE STARS IN THE DESERT, RIDING CAMELS OUT OF THE DESERT,
HAVING LUNCH WITH HABIB'S RELATIVES IN THEIR HOME,
GUNNING THE 4X4 THROUGH DESERT SAND TO THE CAMP SITE AND
MUCH, MUCH MORE!

SO GRAB SOME SNACKS, A DRINK OR 3 AND FOLLOW ALONG WHILST I
RELIVE OUR ADVENTURES HERE ON MY NEW HOME TRAVELLERSPOINT :)

~~~oOo~~~

DAY 1 - ATLAS MOUNTAINS, TELOUET, AIT BEN HADDOU, OUARZAZATE.

FAVOURITE PICTURE.
TAKEN BY HABIB IN FRONT OF THE FAMOUS AIT BEN HADDOU-
MORE ABOUT THAT LATER.

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ATLAS MOUNTAINS

ONE OF THE MOST ENJOYABLE PARTS OF THIS TRIP WAS THE CHANGING
SCENERY. HEADING OUT OF TOWN AND TOWARDS THE ATLAS MOUNTAINS
IT WAS FLAT AND SPARCE.

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ONCE WE ARRIVED AT THE FOOT OF THE MOUNTAINS THE ROAD
NARROWED AND WAS VERY WINDY AS WE DROVE UP AND AROUND
TO THIS FANTASTIC LOOKOUT.

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HERE WE ENCOUNTERED HAWKERS SELLING AN ARRAY OF TOURIST
GIFTS. I BOUGHT A ROCK THAT OPENS UP TO REVEAL THE MOST
GORGEOUS ROSE CRYSTAL :)

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THE ATLAS MOUNTAINS SEEM TO GO ON FOREVER......
NO WONDER! THEY ARE OVER 2,500KM AND SPAN 3 COUNTRIES -
MOROCCO, ALGRIA AND TUNISIA!

FIRST NOMAD SIGHTING

THIS WAS OUR FIRST NOMAD SIGHTING. THEY WERE HEARDING THEIR
SHEEP AND GOATS ACROSS THE ROAD AND UP THE STEEP HILLSIDE.

WE STOPPED TO LET THEM BY AND OPENED THE WINDOWS TO TAKE
SOME PICTURES.

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HABIB EXPLAINED THAT SOMETIMES THE NOMADS
DO NOT LIKE TO BE PHOTOGRAPHED BY TOURISTS....
AND SURE ENOUGH..... THERE WERE A FEW HEATED WORDS SPOKEN.
OOOPS...

SO WE QUICKLY WOUND THE WINDOWS UP AND CONTINUED ON.

KASBAH DE TELOUET

OUR FIRST KASBAH. A KASBAH IS A TYPE OF FORTRESS WHERE
THE LEADER LIVED. IT WAS A DEFENCE SAFE PLACE FOR WHEN A
CITY WAS UNDER ATTACK.

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WE ENTERED A LONG COOL HALLWAY WHICH LED INTO THIS ROOM
OF EXTRAVENCE. HERE WE WERE TAKEN BACK THROUGH TIME.
THE WHOLE ROOM WAS SURROUNDED BY INTRICATE CERAMIC TILES
TO WHICH THE MOROCCANS ARE SO GOOD AT.

ONE COULD IMAGINE BEING WINED AND TINED HERE.

AND THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT THE ORIGINAL OWNERS DID TO THIER
ADVANTAGE.

THE STORY OF THIS KASBAH GOES LIKE THIS -
THE ORIGINAL OWNERS OF THIS AMAZING FORTRESS WERE
CUNNING AND CLEAVER. THEY DUPED EVERYONE THAT CHALLENGED
THEM WITH THEIR AMAZING HOSPITALITY.
SO MUCH SO THAT THEY WERE BYPASSED WHEN A POTENTIAL
CONFLICT AROSE AND KASBAH DE TELOUET SURVIVED WHEREAS
OTHER KASBAH'S FELL TO THE ENEMY.

TIME FOR A PIT STOP, REFRESHMENTS AND A NICE VIEW OVER THE
VALLEY.

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DIVERSE LIVING SCENERY

WHEREVER I TRAVEL, NOT ONLY AM I INTERESTED IN THE LANDSCAPE
SCENERY, BUT I ALSO ENJOY VIEWING THE VARIOUS LIVING CONDITIONS
OF THE LOCALS.

THIS PART OF MOROCCO WAS AS EQUALLY INTERESTING IF NOT BETTER
THAN I HAVE COME ACROSS BEFORE IN OUR TRAVELS.

SO BELOW ARE MY FIRST IMPRESSIONS OF LOCAL LIVING SCENES IN
OUTBACK MOROCCO. NO PARTICULAR ORDER.
LIKE MOST PLACES IN THE WORLD, THEY HAVE THEIR RICH, MIDDLE-CLASS
AND POOR.
HOWEVER, IT WAS NO SURPRISE TO ME TO SEE THAT NO MATTER HOW
RICH OR POOR ..... EVERY HOUSE THAT WE SAW HAD A SATELITE DISH!.... ;)

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AIT BEN HADDOU

WE WERE NEARING THE END OF OUR FIRST DAY. HEADING TOWARDS
OUR DESTINATION FOR THE NIGHT OUARZAZATE, WE HAD ONE LAST
AMAZING THING TO SEE - AIT BEN HADDOU.

AIT BEN HADDOU IS A HUGE FORTIFIED CITY OR KSAR. IT IS A WORLD
HERITAGE SITE THAT IS WELL KNOWN FOR HOSTING A NUMBER OF GREAT
MOVIES LIKE STAR WARS, JESUS OF NAZARETH, GLADIATER AND
THE JEWEL OF THE NILE.

THIS WAS AN AMAZING PLACE!! WE WALKED RIGHT UP TO THE TOP FOR A
VIEW OVER THE VALLEY. APARENTLY THERE ARE STILL 10 FAMILIES THAT
RESIDE HERE.

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HUBBY BOUGHT A COUPLE OF PAINTINGS FROM THIS GUY. WELL NOT
REALLY PAINTINGS AS SUCH. HE WAS USING CLAY AND COLOURED
STONES AND THEN FIRING THEM ONTO THE PAPER WITH A BLOW TORCH.
IT WAS QUITE INTERESTING TO SEE.

OUARZAZATE - SAHARA DREAMS MAROC

WE STOPPED BRIEFLY AT HABIB'S HOME BASE WHERE WE MET HAIAT,
ADMINISTRATOR AND TOUR PLANNER. WHEN I ARRANGED AND BOOKED
OUR TOUR, HAIAT WAS OUR POINT OF CONTACT.
IT WAS A PLEASURE TO DEAL WITH HAIAIT. SHE ANSWERED OUR QUERIES
PROMPTLY AND DEALT WITH EVERYTHING EFFICIENTLY AND SMOOTHLY.
WE FELT PRIVILEGED TO MEET HER.

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RIAD DAR CHAMAA

RIAD DAR CHAMAA - A COOL OASIS IN THE DESERT.

WE ENJOYED A SWIM IN THE POOL AND DINNER ON THE
VERANDAH OUSIDE OVERLOOKING THE POOL. IT WAS A
PLEASANT PLACE TO STAY FOR OUR FIRST NIGHT.

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IF YOU HAVE ENJOYED FOLLOWING ALONG AS I RELIVE OUR
MOROCCAN ADVENTURE.... PLEASE CLICK THE NEXT BUTTON BELOW
FOR DAY 2 - INCLUDING SOME OFF ROAD 4X4 DRIVING,
SHARING MINT TEA WITH BERBER NOMADS IN THEIR CAVE
IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE, ZIG ZAGGING DOWN STEEP WINDY ROADS,
AND AN INTERESTING CARPET STORY..... :)

Posted by aussirose 18:40 Archived in Morocco Tagged mountains travellerspoint landscape scenery ben atlas dar riad kasbah ouarzazate 2011 telouet ait haddou aussirose chamaa morocca Comments (1)

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